Monday, May 4, 2009

Save Second Base

It started out nice and simple, volunteer for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. This is a two day event where people walk 39 miles and raise money for the cause. My roommate has participated by being on the "Crew", hauling bags and tents around for the walkers. It sounded cool, so I signed up to do this in Washington D.C. May 2-3.

I had planned to take Friday off because we were driving up to DC and needed to check in and go to a Crew meeting. Of course at work things were crazy, with two drivers to put out, and nothing went well, so I worked Friday morning. Then I realized I had left my camera with a friend from the last weekend, so I arranged to pick it up on my way to my roommates' work location, where we would leave a car and just drive one up to DC (it was more convenient than having her drive back home).

The drive was uneventful, but it has been a long time since I have driven into DC, and seeing the monuments again was fantastic! Then we went through some downtown neighborhoods, and the architecture is awesome! I was loving it. The crew meeting was fairly bland, but we got t-shirts that say "Crew" on them to wear during the event. Then we went and hung out at my roommates' friends house. It was a really cute townhouse in Alexandria, and they had a really nice dinner for us.

Then we woke up at 3:30 AM to get to the event! It was crazy early. And very dark. And we couldn't find the parking garage, because the GPS device didn't know what L'Efant was... it doesn't have an apostrophe key. But then we finally did find the parking gargage. So we got to the tidal basin, across from Lincoln Memorial, and decorated our truck and put out signs and started taking people's bags and loading the truck. It is amazing how hungry you get by 5 AM even though you usually are asleep and haven't eaten breakfast.

Then opening ceremony started, so we walked over to see that. It was amazing, it really put the whole event in perspective because they had a couple of survivors briefly tell their story, and a couple of kids who lost their mom who were working on the Youth Crew tell their story.

Then as other people on our truck drove it over to the Wellness Village (where the walkers stay overnight), we rode the shuttle over there. It was in a state park that was really nice. We got there in time to watch one of the trucks run over a tent and smash a folding table! Nice..... Then we unloaded the tent and set up the bags in order, and then we got some tarp to cover the bags since it looked like rain. Just as we covered the last bag, it started to rain. So we hung out in the back of the truck watching the rain come down. Then we waited, took a nap, walked around the vendor stands, got a foot massage from one of those machine things, and started setting up tents. As the walkers came in, we would help them find their bags, carry them to their allocated tent spot, and help them pop up the tent.

Speaking of the allocated tent spot.... this was really amazing. The entire field was marked with markers for rows of tents, exactly spaced so that each tent was right next to each other with a two foot aisle in between a row..... quite the precision. After about 5 tents, I was getting pretty efficient at setting them up. So we did that until about 8:30 at night when the last walkers came in. Then we got some dinner. I never ate so much in one meal! It tasted really good. They had an evening program, Project Walkway, where they modeled clothes made out of materials found around the camp site in an imitation Project Runway. It reminded me alot of girls camp, the tents, tons of women, funny evening programs.

Then we slept in the truck because it rained that night. The next morning we were up at 4:30 AM to eat breakfast before the walkers got up. The walkers then gave us their gear, took down the tents and got back on the walk. It was pretty rainy all day, so we got a bit damp loading the truck up again. This one woman came back and said she wanted her bag out of the truck after it was half full. We said there was no way we could find one bag in that pile, and that she should pick it back up at closing ceremony. She said she couldn't do that, and said it was a bag with a baseball bat. Well, I remembered that bag, so I climbed on the pile of bags in the truck because it was back against the back wall of the truck and up at the top of the pile. Let me tell you, being on top of a pile of bags that hold sweaty clothes from walkers is like being on top of a trash heap. It was stinky! Once we had all the bags loaded, we went to take the shuttle back to closing ceremony so we could unload the bags before the walkers arrived. But the shuttle didn't leave for two hours, so by the time we got there, the bags were already unloaded. Then we had to return the truck to the "download" place, where they take them back to the rental office, and ride the shuttle back, and then ride the shuttle back to the parking gargage. So essentially, Sunday was mostly riding shuttles around, which wasn't as much fun as Saturday.

We got back to roommates' friends house, took a shower and changed into dry clothes, and hit the road. Because it was so late, we decided to go to sleep instead of picking up my car at her office.

So this morning, my roommate and I left the house, and I locked the door, and she drove me to work. Then she came and picked me up, and we proceeded to drive back to her office to pick up my car. But I decided to check my purse really quick for my keys.... and they weren't there. So we went back to my office.... They weren't there, and they weren't in the parking lot. So I laid out my purse and my computer bag. No keys. So we drove back to the house. No keys in the house. No keys outside of the house. No keys in the parking lot in front of the house. No keys....... I did have a spare car key at the house, so we could go get the car. But since we both remembered I had locked the front door (because it was locked when we got home), we decided I must have dropped them somewhere outside near the house, and probably someone picked them up, which makes me paranoid that they know what house they go to. So I went to Lowes and got new door locks and new keys. One of the sponsors of the Avon Walk is Tommy Tools, which makes pink tool sets. So as I installed the new door locks this evening, I was thinking how fun it would be to have a pink tool belt :)

Even though some things didn't go according to plan, I really enjoyed the weekend, and maybe I will become a walker for next year. I just need to think of a clever name and tshirt slogan.


browneyedgirl said...

Hey you were here this past weekend? Well hope it wasn't too rainy for you! It hasn't really stopped raining for too long here. Take care!

elizabeth said...

that's great that you participated in that! we found the book you left here this weekend, what a very cool surprise! I can't keep secrets like that